Honda produce the Rune

16 Jun 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Honda produce the Rune
Honda Zodia
Honda Zodia

The outrageous Rune is currently rolling off Honda’s assembly line in Marysville, Ohio, ready to make dramatic and unforgettable impressions wherever it lumbers.

It was time for us to make the ultimate statement, explained Ray Blank, Honda’s VP, at the Rune’s official unveiling last week. Our dream is to make something nobody else can.

Certainly, no major motorcycle manufacturer has ever attempted something this radical for public consumption. No waiting 10 months for your machine to be built, and you can forget having to go down once a month to prod the boutique builder to get a hustle on your bike.

The Rune is now rolling down the Ohio assembly line alongside the iconic Goldwing.

This is a great departure from anything our company has ever done, said Honda’s Gary Christopher about the extravagant new machine.

For Honda, the Rune is similar in concept to DaimlerChrysler’s Plymouth Prowler or Dodge Viper – never meant for big profits, but rather as a so-called halo vehicle that creates a buzz around the brand. And at a base price of $25,499, the burly Rune will never sell in huge numbers.

But you have to admire the courage it has taken the usually conservative Japanese company to push the boundaries of what is possible from a mainstream manufacturer. The Rune, with a gangly 68.9-inch wheelbase, is huge. And instead of a typical V-Twin powerplant, the purple pavement eater uses a version of the Goldwing’s 1832cc Flat-Six engine.

The Rune’s styling is not the orthodox chopper look, either. Honda’s American RD (HRA) team took inspiration from the custom car world. The beefy rear fender that wraps around the back wheel is reminiscent of the slammed look of full-fendered hot rods, and the radiator has lovely grill work like on custom-built ’32 Ford deuce coupes.

The finned valve covers poking out each side of the engine look like they came off an old American V-8 engine, in fact, the prototype’s covers were actually fabricated from a small-block Chevy motor.

Honda Zodia

Many bits of the Rune are a combination of the past and the future. The eye-catching trailing-link fork (first seen on Honda’s 1995 Zodia concept bike) harkens back several decades while also giving a thoroughly modern look, and the rear wheel (nicely exposed via a single-sided swingarm) takes its cues from a vintage Halibrand magnesium wheel as fitted to a Ford Cobra. The flush-mounted LED taillights and swoopy headlight are purely 21st century.

The rear suspension is a version of Honda’s Unit Pro-Link as seen on the RC211V MotoGP racer and CBR600RR sportbike.

The Flat-Six motor is fed fuel and air via six 32mm throttle bodies instead of the Goldwing’s two injectors, and power is delivered to a fat 180-series tire via a shaft-drive system. The exhaust note from the unusual twin sidepipes is at once deep and screamy, much like the horizontally-opposed Six in a Porsche 911. Honda claims a 770-pound dry weight, even with its sharply-cut aluminum frame, so the NRX1800 is endowed with massive dual 330mm from discs and a 336mm rear brake rotor, applied via Honda’s linked-braking system.

The Rune is available in three colors: Illusion Blue, Double-Clear-coat Black and Candy Black Cherry. There is a choice of two handlebars, with a rear-set bar 50mm closer to the rider and 20mm lower. The base model comes with a unique spec 47 silver finish on its stylish wheels; chrome wheels add a healthy $1500 to the MSRP because of a high rejection rate in production.

Honda says each of its 1300 dealers will be able to order at least one Rune, but production volume will be kept fairly low due to the lengthy build time and niche aspect of the ground pounder. Dealers will see delivery by the end of July.

Honda Zodia

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